GNOME platform libraries
Posted Jul 29, 2012 11:29 UTC (Sun) by anselm
In reply to: GNOME platform libraries
Parent article: Otte: staring into the abyss
In the case of the canvas, the situation was that the "official" libgnomecanvas was not being actively developed, with there being another five or so separate canvas implementations, each slightly different. So the issue here was not lack of manpower, but wasted manpower.
Speaking of wasted manpower, libgnomecanvas was inspired by the Tk canvas widget. It would have been perfectly possible to save loads and loads of manpower by improving Tk, which is not at all a bad inter-platform GUI toolkit, and which was around, quite usable, and (unlike Qt at the time) permissively licensed when the GIMP was starting out, rather than coming up with a new GUI toolkit from scratch.
Whatever work it would have taken to fix the shortcomings of Tk is vastly overshadowed by the work it actually took to implement Gtk+, and fix its shortcomings, again and again and again.
The main problem with the current DE landscape in Linux is the tendency to reimplement stuff from scratch instead of fixing or improving existing stuff that is mostly working. Of course it is more fun to reimplement stuff from scratch (especially if, like most programmers, you think you are a lot better at implementing stuff than whoever came up with the original), but in many cases it does indeed lead to a lot of wasted effort.
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